There is really nothing like a well-cooked Alaskan salmon fillet. Now matter how it is prepared, that succulent taste along with a light mixed salad is the perfect, healthy alternative to a diet bombarded with carbohydrates and meats. Many, however, are unable to tell the difference between farm-raised and wild-caught salmon, which actually poses a problem since both appear to look, and in some aspects taste, alike. With careful analysis and a little consumer information, you will know which is which and why wild Alaskan salmon is the better choice over farm raised.
One of the biggest health concerns with farm-raised salmon is the existence of PCBs, known as polychlorinated biphenyls. These are mixtures of 209 different chlorinated compounds that were once used as lubricants and coolants for transformers and similar electrical equipment. In 1977, however, the U.S. government banned the manufacturing of PCBs because of their affect on the environment and the fact that they can cause harmful effects to the health of animals. Recent studies have shown that there are high concentrations of PCBs in the braided fishing line saltwater food pellets for farm raised salmon, so that the fish actually absorb and carry the chemicals with them. Thus, when you eat farm-raised salmon, it is possible to accumulate and store these chemicals in your body. Wild-caught salmon possess none of these harsh chemicals.
Another key difference is the overall fat content and color between the two. Since salmon raised in farms are kept in crowded bins, similar to feed lots for cattle, the fish are unable to really move around. Because of this, they have a much higher fat content and are not as healthy as wild-caught salmon. With regards to color, wild Alaskan salmon has that traditional, light-pink color that people love. Farm-raised salmon lack this pinkish hue and artificial colorings and dyes are used to make the fish represent the wild Alaskan tint that consumers are used to.